The Buddy tells the story of 8-year-old Hidayat, who is tasked by his teacher to be a buddy to his isolated and erratic classmate, Tam. The two develop a close bond, eventually making a decision that will change Tam’s life forever.
This film is based on the true story of Nurhidayat Hamid, who attended Ping Yi primary school in the 1990s. He embraced and guided an autistic classmate at a time when there was little understanding of the condition. Hidayat was the inaugural winner of the first-ever Readers’ Digest Youth Kindness Award.
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Jason Lee is an aspiring filmmaker who started pursuing his dream at the age of 17. He shot “Closer Apart” (2014), which gained traction after it was released online, and screened at film festivals in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Laos. He’s made commissioned pieces for charity foundations through which he hopes to contribute back to society. With these opportunities, Jason has accumulated ground experience to aid his future works.